Mississippi teenager uses ‘Make-a-Wish’ grant to feed homeless for a year
[Nov. 13, 2021: Caitlin O'Kane]
Abraham Olagbegi was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder, in 2020. (CREDIT: mswish/Facebook)
Last year, 13-year-old Abraham Olagbegi found out he was born with a rare blood disorder and needed a bone marrow transplant. About a year later, he found out better news: His transplant was successful, and he qualified for Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants wishes to children will serious illnesses.
Abraham wanted a long-lasting wish, and he had an idea that he shared with his mom. "I remember we were coming home from one of his doctor appointments and he said, 'Mom, I thought about it, and I really want to feed the homeless,'" Abraham's mom, Miriam Olagbegi, told CBS News. "I said, 'Are you sure Abraham? You could do a lot ... You sure you don't want a PlayStation?'"
Unlike many teenage boys, the PlayStation did not entice Abraham. He was sure of his wish to feed the homeless.
Abraham's dad thought it was an awesome idea, too, Miriam said. "So, of course, we weren't going to miss an opportunity like that because we always tried to instill giving into our children."
In September, Make-A-Wish helped Abraham organize a day to hand out free food in Jackson, Mississippi, with food and supplies donated from local businesses. Abraham said they ended up feeding about 80 people that day.
"When the homeless people get the plate, some of them would come back and sing to us and thank us," he said. "And it just really feels good, it warms our hearts. And my parents always taught us that it's a blessing to be a blessing."
Abraham's wish is still not fulfilled. Make-A-Wish will help Abraham feed the homeless every month for a year.
The nonprofit organization says every third Saturday of each month, the Mississippi chapter will work with Abraham to find local supporters to help supply the food they need to feed up to 80 homeless people. They said a local church and business have already supplied two servings.
And when his wish is through in August 2022, Abraham has plans to continue helping the homeless. He wants to turn this effort into a nonprofit – one he's already named "Abraham's Table."
"We're just very excited to be able to continue on this endeavor. It's just so rewarding," his mom said. "If I was out there on the streets, homeless, I would want somebody at some point to think of me and to do something special for me. So, that's what I try to instill in my kids and we just try to pay it forward, by doing what we were raised to do."
For more good news stories check out our Good News section at The Brighter Side of News.
Like these kind of stories? Get The Brighter Side of News' newsletter.